"Does this look okay?"
Remind lungs to breathe.
Stare some more.
Cough a little from lack of oxygen.
Start to speak.
There. That was a socially acceptable answer, wasn't it?
You watch intently as John straightens the sleeves on his old uniform. He's going to an army friend's wedding. Their entire unit is dressing in uniform. You think it's ridiculous.
The absurdity of the situation doesn't mean you don't appreciate the uniform, though.
John isn't a large man by any standards, but the outfit compliments his military posture and enhances his shoulders. The color causes his eyes to stand out in a way that makes you want to study those magnificent blue orbs under closer observation.
"Are you sure you don't want to come? He said I could bring a date."
Ah, yes. A date. You. You're going to be his date from now on. To everything.
You wish he would just stay home with you. There are so many different things you two haven't gotten around to trying yet.
In retrospective, you and John have only done the bare minimum of sex. Nothing past one night of alternating between hand and mouth.
"I might be back late."
Now that you are Sherlock and John, John and Sherlock, you're obliged to do such things.
Acknowledge him when he says something.
Tell him when you're leaving the flat.
Ask before you use the remaining jam for an experiment.
It is rather tedious, but it's not. If this is what John needs, then you can do it. You're getting the better end of the liaison, after all.
The whole scenario is rather odd, anyway. John had been gentle with you that first time. It's been several days now.
You're no stranger to masturbation, but it had been different when John was the one holding you in the palm of his hand. The gentle movements had been more than you could handle, and, embarrassingly, you had come within minutes of him laying his hand on you. He had been sweet though, patiently coaxing and urging you into another slowly growing erection, and the second time he'd made you come it had been down his throat. Absolutely overwhelming.
You hear a door click shut in the echoes of your mind and realize John has left. Bringing palms together beneath your chin, you stare blankly and continue analyzing all that had happened in the past week.
Apparently, you had provided John with a fair amount of pleasure that night as well. At least, if his incoherent muttering and chant of SherlockSherlockSherlock was any sign.
You are ready for the next step, however. You want to feel John closer than you ever have before. His skin sliding against yours in a silken procession, eyes gracing you with their cerulean warmth as he guides you into a state of blissful oblivion. You want to remove the rough fabric of his uniform from his body, letting it pool around your feet as you press him into the soft expanse of sheets. You want to replace the uniform with your own body, pale arms and lanky legs wrapped around tan limbs. Dark curls against graying flaxen strands.
John is attractive. Women love him. Men gravitate toward him.
You reach for your mobile and type out a message, hitting Send before you're ready and tap out another one.
Don't dance with anyone. SH
Don't talk to anyone, either. SH
John steps through the front door earlier than expected, and you decide he must be the single perfect human being you have seen. You don't know when exactly, but sometime between you sending those texts and John walking up those stairs, your mood had shifted. Perhaps it had something to do with John texting you through the entire ceremony, or the last message that simply said:
I'm coming home.
Because it wasn't so much the message itself, but the word "home" and all it implied that had caused you to fumble with the phone before you could send your reply with unsteady fingers.
I'll be here. SH
You have never been home to someone before.
You watch the man who has been home to you since the day he limped into your life as he crosses the floor.
Sometimes, when he's standing, watching you work, your mind freezes him in that position. The glint of admiration in his eyes, the gleam of sunlight against his soft hair.
Sometimes, when he's speaking, saying something dull and normal, your mind locks the words in a loop inside your head, mulling over and embracing the honeyed phrases until you can feel yourself drowning.
Sometimes, when he's sleeping, you watch the years fall away until he's never been to war, never been shot, never fought to stay alive, never met you. You know you've aged him.
Sometimes, when he's smiling, even when it's not at you, you watch his eyes crinkle and pop, shining with such a depth that even you cannot give it words.
He is perfect for you, but you are far from perfect for him.
You become aware of those very eyes on you in that moment, concern etching different lines into his face.
"Sherlock, are you alright?"
You nod slightly, closing your eyes briefly before reopening them.
He loosens the buttons on his uniform jacket and you need to hold out a hand. So you do. He comes to you, your savior.
His lips press against the imperfect, stained skin of your palm. Because he can do that now. He can do that.
You want to pull him down, into your lap. You want to push away the clothes until it's just you and him and miles of skin. You want to stretch out across the bed and let him invade your senses, your body. You want to, but you don't.
You realize your other hand is fisted into John's shirt, slightly gripping the skin beneath. But he doesn't complain.
"You and me."
You look up with wide, searching eyes. His are smiling.
"It's just you and me, Sherlock."
And you nod, because it is. It is.
Gentle eyes call to you and you follow. Follow across the creaking floorboards and up the creaking staircase and across the threshold of his room. It's dim and warm and feels like your doctor.
He guides your hands, and you're relieving his body of the uniform with slight tugs and pulls. You reveal the scar and rest your thumb there. It is rough and rigid, not at all your John. It is its own entity. The bad that has happened to this man in front of you. And you hate it. But you don't want John to think you are repulsed by it, and so you lay your mouth there, pressing your lips against it in several brief kisses. Because you can do that now. You can.
Your doctor's hand twines into your hair and you bury your face in his neck.
There is no hurry.
"All the time in the world," you hear him whisper as he slowly presses you into the soft mattress beneath you.
All the time in the world.
Your eyes follow his hands as he softly undresses you, quiet touches marking his progress. He pulls your trousers off in agonizingly slow movements and you let your head loll back against his pillow, catching a whiff of John Watson embedded there.
You love it, the way he laces the fingers from his left hand with the fingers of your right, pushing your joined fists into the mattress beside your head. You let out a harsh breath as he brushes his lips against your chest, latching onto a nipple and gently suckling against the skin. You remain there, pliant and unmoving, letting your doctor do as he pleases. He is the one that knows what he's doing, after all.
He stimulates and teases your nipples until you are actively holding back moans.
"Let it go, Sherlock." John grazes his lips up until they are resting just below your ear on the sensitive skin. "Let me hear you."
Unbidden, you let out an obscene moan.
You feel John smile against your neck.
John's wise, wise hands are now both twined with yours, braced against the pillow above, holding you down, but not really. You realize you are biting your lower lip just as he hovers closer, brushing his with yours and releasing you with a soft sigh.
And, because you can, you wrap both your arms and legs around your doctor's strong frame with all the hidden strength you possess.
And you hold on for dear life.
Somewhere in the recesses of your mind, perhaps the bit that isn't built into your mind palace—the sentiment?—you realize that tonight is different. Different from all nights prior. John is different, and you are different. London is different. The stars out of the reach of your vision are different. Everything, everything, everything.
You think, for your own prideful benefit, that you knew since the instant you opened your eyes this morning.
In reality, you were blindsided by it the moment, only seconds before now, when John touched your face, feather soft, and asked, "Do you trust me?" with his eyes only.
You gaze back, allowing John to see you. He smiles in acknowledgement and brushes a thumb across your eyelid, caressing the lashes fanning out in a crescent moon. Your hand tentatively rests against the center of his chest as he hovers above. He kisses you again, lips tugging gently with conflicting hunger and tenderness as his hips move lightly against you.
A soft slip of air escapes from your lungs and John breathes you in as he lifts your upper body until you are both vertical in the middle of the bed. The only thing between you and your doctor are your pants, and you whimper pathetically as you tug at the waistband of his. It's useless, hopeless, as you are following John's time. He has followed you across, through, between the filthy streets of London without question; now, you quietly follow him along the pathways to trust, contentment, and something like peace.
But relief comes sooner rather than later, as John is gently slipping the remaining pieces of clothing off you both until there is nothing left. You shudder and shake and recognize John's own trembling as his fingers grace the paleness of your wrists. He doesn't move for a moment, just looks down at your joined hands, then back up into your eyes. You feel the weight of that gaze unlike anything you have ever felt before.
It isn't enough.
You lean back, pulling him with you until he is stretched across your body, and despite his shorter height, you feel completely encompassed by him as you press together, skin-on-skin.
He gently thrusts against you, making you gasp and cry out. You can hear the strange little noises coming from his throat as he fights to breathe and keen at the same time.
The heat blazing between you far surpasses what you felt the first time. It's different. Carnal and desperate, yet burning tenderness and the grace that could only be given to you by John Watson.
You whimper slightly as he takes you in his hand and your hips move forward of their own accord. He's gentle, but firm, and you don't know how much more you can handle, so you start talking.
He hums slightly, nuzzling a sensitive spot in your neck.
"John, slow down."
He pauses for a second, and you hurry to reassure him, realizing you sounded harsher than you meant to.
"I don't want to come. I don't want to."
He pulls back and studies your eyes in the dim lighting. "Okay, Sherlock. Okay."
But then his hand falls away from you and you don't understand. You brush your own hand against his swollen flesh and he groans, so you do it again.
"Why did you stop?" you ask.
His brow is crinkled and his arms are trembling where they hold him above you, away from you. "You wanted me to."
You shake your head. "No, I didn't want to come yet."
His brow smooths out and the corners of his mouth turn up a little. "Oh." But he doesn't replace his hand.
Instead, you watch as he leans across you and begins rummaging in a nearby drawer. Your mind is foggy and slow and it takes you an embarrassingly long time to realize what it is he is reaching for. Now, it's blatantly obvious as he slicks his fingers.
"This is okay?" he asks. He's kneeling between your bent legs now, so you ease a leg over his shoulder and pull him closer.
"Obviously." Because it still isn't enough.
He chuckles at your momentary sass. And it is momentary because the second he gently nudges a finger in, your breath is gone and you're floating.
You come back down with a crash as he brushes against your prostate and a strangled cry bursts out. Any discomfort is being masked by the ridiculous amounts of pleasure he's giving you and the slow slide of one finger soon becomes two, three, and then there's only one thing left as he guides himself to your entrance. You gasp and moan at the first little invasion, but it isn't anything compared to what comes next.
With desperate need, you wrap both legs around John's back and lock your ankles. The movement forces John closer, closer, closer, until you nearly scream with pain. He immediately stops and begins to pull back, but then you're really, really okay and don't let him. It's his turn to cry out as you thrust upward, taking him in completely.
The walls of 221B echo with your combined noises—gasps, cries, keens, moans—and you barely have the presence of mind to hope to God that Mrs. Hudson isn't home.
He angles his thrusts until he's hitting your prostate with incredible accuracy and you start to scream before slapping a hand over your own mouth.
"I wish you wouldn't do that," he pants, tugging your hand away. "Mrs. Hudson isn't a prude." Because, sometimes, Doctor John Watson can read the mind of Sherlock Holmes.
So, the next time he shoves against that spot, you do scream.
And everything inside you stills.
You come with a soundless wail, back arching as your hips stutter and falter until you're completely, utterly spent. Your skin is vibrating and your vision fades in and out as your body sucks in deep breaths out of desperation.
You wait for it to fill you, the release of the crushing pressure against your chest that threatens to tear you apart, but it doesn't come.
You choke back a sob because it just doesn't come. It isn't enough. Notenoughnotenoughnotenough, and it never will be.
John thrusts again, deep. Once, twice, three times and then he's more than inside you, he's a part of you.
This time, a sob does escape, and you cling to John so fiercely, you're afraid you'll injure him. You're pretty sure this isn't how you are supposed to feel after sex. Wrecked, broken, devastated.
John is there, easing out of you as gently as he can. You hiss at the sensation and he brushes his lips across your collar bone, overriding the slight discomfort.
John is there, wrapped around you, closer to you than ever before, and it isn't enough. You feel like maybe it's ripping you apart slowly from the inside out, because no matter how much of John you get, you'll always want more.
John is there, trailing a thumb across your damp cheek, murmuring quiet words that you can't make sense of. You see his face and realize he's distressed. You bring yourself together enough to understand what he's saying.
"It's okay, love. You're alright. I didn't hurt you, did I?" At this, you quickly shake your head. "Good, good. It's alright. Everything's wonderful. It's brilliant. You're brilliant." He smiles slightly, pushing a hand through your hair and lifting the fringe off your forehead. "And you know what? You were beautiful."
You let the words embrace you as you wonder if this torn apart feeling will ever leave your chest.
He finds his pants on the floor and cleans you both as well as he can before drawing you close again.
For long minutes, he holds you and brushes his wise, wise hands across your skin, calming you until a few of the shattered pieces have found each other again. You don't want him to leave—here, now, then, tomorrow, a year, a lifetime, ever—and you twist so you can wrap your arms around his shoulders, burying your face into his soft, soft skin and breathing him in.
Then. Just...then, John presses a warm kiss to your neck as he pulls you impossibly closer, still whispering calming assurances, and it's almost enough.